Many of the questions about the school are answered in the school handbook. On this page, we will address some of the more commonly asked questions. We ask that you read through the school handbook and browse this page for answers to your questions. If you have a question that is not addressed in the handbook or this page, please feel free to use the contact page to send your question to us.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the email I sent to our parents on May 30, 2014, answering some issues presented to our parents.
What grades are offered at L'Abris Academy? We offer grades K-12 at L'Abris.
Does L'Abris accept high school students transferring from another school? Generally, no. We usually only accept students transferring from a public school into grades 1-8. In the past, we did allow high school students to transfer to L'Abris but in most cases, we found the students tested too low on diagnostic tests to be allowed to graduate on time. L'Abris graduation requirements are high and transferring high school students would need to spend an extra 1-3 years on average to meet those requirements. Of course, teenagers are not willing to do that. Prior to the 2011-2012 school year, we decided to no longer accept high school transfers as a general rule. An exception might be granted for other private school students or home-schooled students, but the results of an educational diagnostic test will determine if an exception will be given.
Does L'Abris accept students with special needs? We allot 10% of our seats for children with special needs. Those seats usually fill very quickly. When there is an opening, L'Abris will only accept students with special needs if we feel that we can meet those needs. Some needs are beyond the limit of the resources at L'Abris. Each student is evaluated and accepted or denied on a case-by-case basis.
What curriculum is used at L'Abris? We use a wide variety of curricula at L’Abris Academy. Upon enrollment, each student is tested to determine educational strengths and weaknesses. Based on those test results, a curriculum path is prescribed that we feel will best meet the needs of the student. Each year, the path is re-evaluated to see if adjustments or changes need to be made. Sometimes, we will make a curriculum switch in the middle of a school year if the student’s needs are not being met. We do not take a “cookie cutter” approach to education. To illustrate what we mean by the previous sentence, we do not expect all 5th graders to have the same strengths and weaknesses. Even children with similar IQs will have different learning styles. As much as possible, we try to fit the curriculum to the child, not the other way around. Every summer, we evaluate the curriculum we use and potential curriculum we might use. We talk with other private school administrators and teachers about ideas and curricula they are using. While we don’t advocate changing curriculum often, we firmly believe in putting our curriculum choices to the test to make sure we are offering our students the best options possible. We also use SAS Curriculum Pathways to supplement all curriculum used if a student needs extra help understanding any concept. One of our greatest strengths as a private school is the freedom to be innovative and develop more challenging or alternative curriculum paths for our students.
Is L’Abris accredited? No elementary or secondary school is accredited by the federal government (see link here). There are regional or state accrediting agencies that will "accredit" an elementary or secondary school; however, L’Abris is not and does not wish to be accredited by the state of Illinois. Schools that are accredited by the state may be required to use specific books and materials and to test their students in certain grades, using certain tests. We feel that this cookie-cutter approach to education does not work. We think that our system works because of the nature of the program (one-on-one teaching, ability to choose materials that are appropriate for the student, etc.), not because of any accreditation. The result of not being state accredited is that students who transfer to public schools may be required to take placement tests upon enrollment. As they do for public school students, colleges will base acceptance of L’Abris students on their final transcripts showing course credits earned, and upon acceptable ACT or SAT scores. During the 2011-2012 school year, L'Abris Academy was evaluated by a civilian educational assessor on contract with the US Department of Defense. Our school was given class 1 status with the US DOD. L'Abris Academy was also evaluated and approved by the Pearson accrediting team to become an approved school for giving their achievement tests. We are not opposed to undergoing an accrediting or evaluating process to achieve a specific goal. We do not see the need to pay thousands of dollars to one of the many accrediting agencies for no real, tangible purpose.
What religious views are taught or promoted at L'Abris Academy? L'Abris is a Christian school. We do not promote the teachings of any particular Christian denomination, but feel that all members of conservative, Protestant, evangelical, Christian denominations would be comfortable with the religious teachings of L'Abris. We hold to the main tenets of Christianity which can be read here.
Do you accept students from non-Christian families or from families with different religious views than L'Abris? No, we do not. While we know that we cannot see inside the heart or mind of each parent to verify if they are true believers, we do ask that the primary caregiver of each student at least verbally claim to be a Christian and agree to the religious teachings of L'Abris Academy. We recommend that non-Christian families or families with differing religious views find a private school that does agree with their views, enroll their children in the public school or home-school their children. It would only create chaos, confusion and rebellion in the heart of a child to enroll him/her in a religious school that teaches views contrary to what the home believes or practices.
Do you make allowances for differing moral choices? First, you need to understand what our choice is based on. We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Covenant Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God's word to accomplish His purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women of all time, for God's revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Therefore, we hold to the moral standards as clearly and explicitly stated in the Holy Scriptures. L’Abris unapologetically encourages its students to become disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our educational material is rich in Biblical references. We celebrate the freedoms that living in the US provides for all people, regardless of their moral choices. We exercise our freedom by choosing to focus on those who seek to align their lives with the Scriptures. Those who would like to exercise differing moral choices may start their own private, religious school.
Are lunches provided? Yes, we have a hot lunch program operated by one of our school moms. Please see the lunch tab at the top for information. Students may still bring lunches from home. We have several microwaves for students to use. We also have a refrigerator where students can store lunches when needed.
Is there a particular dress code? Yes, we have a casual uniform T-shirt with the school logo in two colors - maroon and black.
What about sports? There’s nothing wrong with sports. Pastor Pauley was a professional athlete for years. Yet according to the Apostle Paul, just because something is permissible doesn't make it necessarily helpful (1 Corinthians 6:12). Which is going to be more useful: athletics or a sound education matched with character development? What is the likelihood of your child becoming a professional athlete compared to their need of a solid grounding in English, Science and Math? One of the things that surprises us is the number of people who seem to think that participation in sports will help their child’s character. Really? Ask yourself how has that worked for the local high school athletes? How has that helped professional athletes? The pursuit of sports cannot take precedence over the pursuit of wisdom in the minds of Christians. Athletics cannot become so high a value that it is used to justify disobedience to God’s command to bring up our children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We understand your honest desire for your children to have the opportunity to participate in sports. Truth be told, they can do so without attending public schools, through extra-curricular programs. Many college teams have within their ranks graduates of small, Christian schools. While not organized into competitive teams, the students at L'Abris enjoy football, baseball and other sports during recess time. We DO stress sportsmanship and fair play even during recreational sports.
What are the school’s hours? We have a four-day school week, Monday-Thursday. Every school day begins at 8:15 AM and ends at 3:00 PM. If there is a holiday on one of these four days or if we cancel school due to inclement weather, we will have classes all day Friday. Please see the school calendar for more information. Some folks in our community have made statements that a four-day week is illegal. This is NOT true. Please read the email I sent to parents in May 2014 answering this question at length (email link is at the top of the page). Another statement made by uninformed folks in the community is that we cannot get a year's worth of curriculum finished with a 4-day week. All of my students carry seven courses and many carry more. Because of our educational approach, our classroom design and our one-to-one teaching method, we have far less time wasted during the day than in a traditional, public school.
When should we register? We highly recommend that parents register their children in May for the following school year. A student may enroll at any time during the school year, but because curriculum is custom ordered for each student, your child may have to wait 1-2 weeks to actually begin school after enrollment.
What is the monthly payment? L'Abris Academy is a private school and entirely funded by the tuition and book fees paid by the parents. The tuition and book fees are L'Abris are among the lowest in the nation for private schools. However, we recognize that not everyone can afford a private education and so L'Abris Academy may not be an option for you. We do not have grants or any kind of fund to help with tuition for your child. The monthly bill is different for each family because it is based on how many students, how many courses, amount of deposit paid, etc. The easiest way for you to determine what you should pay each month is to log on to your account and divide the total by 10. After you pay August tuition payment, you can determine September's bill by logging on and dividing the balance by 9 (and so on for each month). All monthly payments are due the 1st of each month. All accounts will be charged a $25 late fee after the 15th if payment has not been received. If your account falls behind, please make every effort to get caught up. Talk with us and we'll be happy to work out a payment schedule. However, if your account is delinquent by the end of each semester, your student will not be allowed to return the following semester until the amount in arrears is paid.